Location: Westland, Michigan, United States

Graduate of Walsh Institute Of Accountancy (Now Walsh College) Michigan in 1959. Retired in 1987, but still active in the profession **World War II Veteran (Pacific) **PHONE 734-261-1979 **E-MAIL **(Domain Name CPASENSE Registered) **Mentioned in the Journal of Accountancy, SmartPros, Tax Prof Blog, CPA2BIZ, CPA Journal, AccountingWEB, CPATrendlines & More **Search Accounting Blogs: (Includes cpasense)**TOPICS - FINANCE - FEDERAL & MICHIGAN TAXES ** Making Sense Of Your Finance & Taxes

Saturday, September 30, 2006

IRA Distributions

Unless you're age 59 1/2 at the time of the disribution, you'll be liable for a 10% penalty. There are a number of exceptions to the penalty. The most common ones (there are others and read the fine print before acting) that you may qualify for:

* distrubutions to pay deductible medical expenses
* amounts to pay qualifying medical insurance premiums to cetain unemployed individuals
* qualified higher education expenses for you, your spouse, children, or grandchildrenm and
* up to $10,000 for first time homebuyer expenses for a principal residence.

Form 5329
Form 5329 Instructions ( See Exceptions - Bottom of Page 2 and top of Page 3)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Choosing The Right Structure For A Surviving Spouse's IRA

A surviving spouse who is the sole beneficiary of the balance remaining in their deceased spouse's traditional IRA may leave the account as it is, or roll over the decedent's IRA ino their own IRA, or elect to treat the IRA as their own for all purposes, including the rules of IRC 72(t) as to the imposition of a 10 percent penalty tax if the amount in the IRA is withdrawn before age 59 1/2


Saturday, September 23, 2006

2007 Medicare Premiums, Deductibles, And Coinsurance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the changes to the Medicare Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles and coinsurance paid by beneficiaries that become effective on January 1, 2007

Segal Co.

Michigan Governor Signs Earned Income Credit; Minmum Wage Changes

Low-income residents in Michigan will see up to $880 in income tax benefits next year under legislation signed Friday in Flint by Governor Jennifer Granholm, and federal exemptions will still apply to persons earning the minimum wage in effcct October 1 at $6.95 per hour. Under another bill the governor signed, teens will earn slightly less than the minimum wage.

Senate Bill 453

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

States, lawmakers Target Ways To Combat Elder Abuse

Recent headlines surrounding the ordeal of 104-year-old socialite Brooke Astor chronicled a lawsuit filed by her grandson that accused his father of mismanaging his grandmother's financial affairs.


Michigan OFIS Offers "Facts Of Life" Tips To Consumers

Although consumers widely recognize the importance of life insurance in financially protecting their families, most need significant help in determining the type and amount of coverage appropriate at different life stages, according to the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services (OFIS)

The Web's Amber Alert System
Missing & Exploited Children
Nat'l Center For Missing Adults
U.S. Dept. Of Homeland Security
Michigan Preparedness - New

Michigan Launches Website Featuring Services For Michiganders With Disabilities

Robert W. Swanson, Director of the Department of Labor & Economic Growth, and Teri Takai, Director of the Department of Information Technology, today announced the State of Michigan has launched a website devoted solely to the interests and concerns of people with disabilities.

Employees Are Urged To Prepare For No-Pension Retirement

As workers make their retirement calculations, they should keep in mind the two, sometimes opposing, principles that govern the U.S. pension system and that the new law, the Pension Protection Act, reaffirmed. An accrued pension can't be wiped out, but companies can walk away from promised future benefits at any time. That means workers who still have pensions will have to do some more homework to determine how much money their plans are likely to provide, experts say.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

New Year Begins For Free Annual Credit Report Program

The Federal Trade Commission reminds us that September marks the first anniversary of every consumer’s right to a free annual credit report from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Michigan MET & MESP Offer Free College Savings Webinars

The Michigan Education Trust (MET) and the Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP) are celebrating September's designation as College Savings Month by providing educational Webinars to interested parents, grandparents and others who are planning for a child's college education. The Webinars, offered online and free of charge, will include guest speakers as well as representatives from both programs who will discuss important features of MET and MESP.

Michigan Treasury

Monday, September 11, 2006

Donate Books...Help Students Learn To Read

The MACPA New Professionals Task Force is asking Association members and friends to donate books to the 2006 Book Drive. New and used books suitable for children ages 5 – 13 are being collected by the task force and donated to school children in the Detroit Public School system. The book drive honors Terry Murphy, a retired member and husband of outgoing AICPA Chair Leslie Murphy. Murphy spends his time as a volunteer working with the Detroit Public Schools. Books can be dropped off at the MACPA office in Troy throughout the summer. Book donations or cash contributions are being accepted through September 22.

Michigan Association of CPAs (MACPA), 5480 Corporate Drive (Crooks Exit off of I-75) - P.O. Box 5068, Troy, Mich. 48007 --- 248-267-3700 Fax 248-267-3737

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saving For The Golden Years

Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

U.S. Dept. Of Labor

Education Tax Credits

Education tax credits can help offset those costs. The Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit are education credits you can subtract in full from the federal income tax, not just deduct from taxable income.

Internal Revenue Service

Thursday, September 07, 2006

1031 Exchanges

1031 exchange (also known as a like-kind exchange) is a transaction that allows a taxpayer to defer the capital gains tax that would be due on a sale of an asset. 1031 exchanges are almost exclusively used in real estate, but they can be used for other types of assets as well. A 1031 exchange allows real estate investors to defer the capital gains tax on the sale of appreciated property if they reinvest the proceeds in a new property. But while a 1031 exchange may sound simple in premise, there are specific rules that must be followed to completely defer the capital gains tax.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How To Select The Right Investments For The Right Goals

When it comes to investing, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. Your specific strategy will vary depending on your stage in life, financial resources and, most importantly, specific goals, emphasizes the Michigan Association of CPAs....-MORE-

How To Benefit From Flexible Spending Accounts

There’s good news both for employees with flexible savings accounts (FSAs) and for those who declined to participate in the past because of the use-it-or-lose it rule. Under IRS regulations that were in effect for close to 20 years, any unclaimed funds remaining in a participant’s flexible spending account at the end of the plan year were forfeited. ...-MORE-

Michigan Association of CPAs

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Revamped Offer In Compromise Program Plays New Role In IRS Collection

Effective July 16, 2006, a new federal law changed the way the offer in compromise (OIC) program operates and its role in the IRS collection process. In general, this means that:

* Taxpayers submitting lump-sum offers must make a 20 percent nonrefundable, up-front payment to the IRS.
* Taxpayers submitting a periodic-payment OIC must make a nonrefundable, up-front payment, plus any other proposed payments that may be due, while the IRS is evaluating the offer, and
* An OIC application is deemed accepted if the IRS fails to act upon it within two years.

Financial Strategies for the Later Years

When you first started out in your career, you may have focused on paying off student loans, buying a home and, hopefully, starting to save for retirement. Generally speaking, these are pretty straightforward goals. But by the time you enter your 50s and 60s, your financial objectives may be somewhat more complex, so you will need to take great care in creating and implementing the right strategies. [ more.. ]

Cash Flow Blog

Roth 401(k)

A key provision in the new pension law makes the Roth 401(k) permanent. You can expect to see more interest from employers now that it is no longer scheduled for sunset.

Guide to the Roth 401k.

Tax Guide For Investors

Save Fuel And Taxes With New Hybrid Vehicles

If rising gas prices have you thinking about buying a more fuel-efficient car, you’ll want to learn more about the tax credit available to Americans who buy qualifying hybrid vehicles. Hybrids combine an electric motor with a gasoline-powered engine, producing fewer emissions....-MORE-


Protect Your Finances

How to Avoid Investment Scams. When it comes to investing, the old saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” is excellent advice. Yet statistics issued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) show that, every year, Americans lose more than a billion dollars to fraudulent investments. ...-MORE-

Michigan Association Of CPAs

Friday, September 01, 2006

New Website to Help Entrepreneurial Teens

A new website developed by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Junior Achievement helps young entrepreneurs learn about business ownership.

The website has five sections: Explore, Decide, Build, Connect and Succeed. Each section brings youngsters through each step of the business development process. There are two additional resources on the site as well. The Make it Your Business Student Activities Guide includes group activities that stress the fundamentals of business ownership. The Make it Your Business Volunteer Guide provides ideas and resources to help business professionals, program leaders and teachers conduct programs in classrooms, student clubs or after-school activities.

To Sign Or Not To Sign Credit Cards?

For as long as credit cards have been in use, it has been standard operating procedure for issuers to urge cardholders to sign the back of new cards as soon as the plastic arrives in the mail.

But in an era when credit card companies promote "zero fraud liability," online transactions are comonplace and point-of-purchase card readers and self-checkouts at retail stores essentially remove clerks from even handling the card, let alone looking at the signature, does it really matter if you do?